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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Scotland 1-2 Romania
James McFadden made a real difference when he came on
James McFadden scored Scotland's first friendly international goal at Hampden for eight years but it was not enough to avoid defeat to Romania.

The visitors dominated possession and went ahead when Christian Chivu's free kick was deflected past Paul Gallacher.

Daniel Pancu fired in a powerful second after a mistake by Steven Pressley.

McFadden was introduced and instantly lifted the Scots' performance and he scored a fantastic consolation, beating Chivu before slotting the ball home.

Scotland had the first presentable opportunity after nine minutes when a near-post corner by Neil McCann was met by a deft flick from Steven Thompson, but the ball drifted just wide of the far post.

John Kennedy's full international debut lasted less than a quarter-of-an-hour after a late challenge by Vio Ganea caught him heavily on the calf and he was replaced by his former Celtic team-mate Stephen Crainey.

The opening half-hour of the game was littered with heavy challenges and fouls that disrupted the play, prohibiting any decent football.

Romania's first effort on goal after 31 minutes came from Cernat, but his long-range effort failed to trouble Gallacher as it bounced wide.

Moments later Ganea met Adrian Mutu's cross eight yards out but could not direct his effort on target.

Romania celebrate the opening goal
Romania celebrate the opening goal
Romania took the lead after 37 minutes when Chivu's free kick took a deflection off the elbow of Colin Cameron, wrong-footing Gallacher as it spun into the net.

The visitors were first to try their luck in the second period, but this time Ganea's shot was deflected into Gallacher's grasp.

Gavin Rae drove an effort well wide before Romania doubled their lead in the 51st minute.

Pancu played a neat one-two with Mutu on the edge of the box and when Pressley made a mess of his attempted interception, Pancu was able to rattle the ball past the helpless Gallacher from 10 yards.

McFadden was brought on for Kenny Miller and immediately injected a sense of urgency into the Scots' play, so it was no great surprise when he brought Scotland back into the game.

Picking the ball up 35 yards out, he went past Chivu before coolly slotting the ball past substitute keeper Bogdan Lobont to the delight of the home support.

McFadden was unlucky to see his cross headed behind for a corner after more good work on the right, with Stevie Crawford waiting to pounce.

But moments later. Gallacher had to react quickly to save at the feet of Ganea after Pancu had played him in.

Then Ganea failed to connect with a cross when it looked an easy task to head into the net.

McFadden floated a free kick a yard over the bar as Scotland searched in vain for an equaliser.

A misplaced pass by Pressley in the closing stages let in Mutu but his bending shot curled just wide of Gallacher's post.


Scotland: Gallagher, Graham Alexander, Kennedy (Crainey 18), Pressley, Gary Caldwell, Rae, Cameron, Dailly, McCann, Kenny Miller (McFadden 51), Thompson (Crawford 64).
Subs not used: Gordon, Stephen Caldwell, Ritchie, Hughes, Murty, Shearer.

Romania: Stelea (Lobont 45), Stoican, Iencsi, Chivu, Rat, Cernat (Soava 64), Florentin Petre, Ovidiu Petre (Mitea 45), Pancu (Danciulescu 90), Mutu, Ganea (Cristea 82).
Subs not used: Stancu, Constantin.

Booked: Cernat.

Attendance: 20,433.

Referee: Jouni Hyytia (Finland).






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